Kuwait honours Persian Gulf veterans

Peter Mallett, Staff Writer ~

A Persian Gulf War veteran is reaching out to his comrades in arms to ensure they are properly honoured.

Master Corporal (ret’d) Harold Davis of Cobble Hill, B.C. is founder and president of the Persian Gulf Veterans of Canada (PGVC) and also a proud recipient of the Kuwait Liberation Medal. The medal is awarded to current and former military members from Canada, the United States, Great Britain, New Zealand and Australia who served in the first Persian Gulf War from Aug. 2 1990 to Aug. 31, 1991.

The 60-year-old says many Gulf War veterans who are eligible for the honour are unaware it exists. “I want to make sure every Canadian who served in the war is recognized for their efforts that helped liberate the Middle Eastern nation following its unsuccessful annexation by Iraq.

“A lot of people who are so deserving of this medal have yet to receive them,” explained Davis. “The Persian Gulf Veterans of Canada wants to make certain that everyone who is eligible receives one and hopefully in person.”

The former Royal Canadian Air Force Weapons Technician was posted to HMCS Athabaskan during the war. These days he’s been busy working with Kuwait’s ambassador to Canada, Reem Al Khaled, to make sure those deserving are properly honoured.

“Khaled was a young girl when Iraq invaded Kuwait and she says she remembers what happened in her country,” said Davis. “She fully understands the importance of honouring those who helped liberate her country.”

The medal was first issued in 1994 and is awarded in five different classes, determined by military rank and each medal differs slightly.

Its obverse bears Kuwait’s coat of arms consisting of a shield of the flag design in colour, superimposed by a falcon with wings displayed. The falcon supports a disk containing a sailing ship with the full name of the state written at the top of the disk.

Canadian recipients are only permitted to wear the medal on the right breast and that’s something Davis says he hopes changes.

“I am hoping that someday Canadian veterans can wear this medal properly on the left side of their uniform but for some reason there seems to be some resistance to let this happen,” said Davis. “I have been lobbying branches of government and elected officials to try and make this happen.”

The PGVC was founded five years ago and has grown its ranks to approximately 1,000 members and currently operates a closed Facebook Page for war veterans only. In the past year Davis says his organization handed out approximately 22 medals to individuals unable to obtain one leading up to the 29th Anniversary of the Liberation of Kuwait in Feb. 2020. Davis has a list of approximately 27 others who have yet to receive the medal but says he is certain there are many more unaware they are eligible to receive them.

In concert with the Kuwait embassy, he is hoping to build on his list of potential recipients. The goal is to have a larger list of recipients leading up to the 30th anniversary ceremony at the National War Memorial in Ottawa. The event will be hosted by Veterans Affairs Canada and the Department of National Defence (DND), in person or virtually.

Davis wants the majority of the medals to be handed out in person, either in Ottawa or at other locations across Canada by federal, provincial or municipal officials or representatives from DND.

For more information about the PGVA and an application to receive the medal visit their website http://persiangulfveteranscanada.ca/kuwait-medal/

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Filed Under: Top Stories

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  1. Gerald Pash says:

    https://www.canada.ca/en/department-national-defence/services/medals/cf-honours-policy-manual/chapter6.html
    Outlines Canadian Policy regarding foreign awards. It has been determined that this award duplicates the Canadian Gulf War Medal. contrary to reason in the note attributed to me above.

  2. Michael Calnan says:

    As noted by Gerald Pash, above, the problem with gaining approval for this medal is that it has categories based on rank, not on merit. All medals approved by the CAF must be free of rank based discrimination. Any levels or degrees must be based on merit, not rank.

  3. Gerald Pash says:

    https://www.gg.ca/en/order-precedence

    See paragraph 7 that is important to this discussion

  4. J.P. Martinello says:

    I also served on HMCS ATHABASKAN during 90/91 Guld War. I was scheduled to receive it in Quebec City however due to my posting overseas I could not attend and never received my medal.

    Thank you

  5. Mr. Mike Millward says:

    I was sent to Al Jabel Saudi Arabia with the Cdn FLd. Hosp. Jan 91 to 15 Apr 91. During deployment we were sent to Kuwait to open the Cdn embassy. I received the medal from Kuwait and Saudi Arabia . Is there a 3rd medal that I am not aware of ? If so ,I would be honoured to receive it. Thank you.

  6. George DellaValle says:

    I was there and never recieved one could you add my name to the list

  7. Keith Thomson says:

    I too served with 1 CFH. I too recieved the CGW w/bar. The dress regs prohibit foreign decoration unless granted by higher authority.

    If you are retired – knock yourself out a accept and mount this and the Saudi gong.

    Legion has there own regs too.

    The right side display is a wives tale.

    It this shows up, I won’t get twisted. I’ve talked to Harold at length in the past.

  8. Martin Brink says:

    1 Combat Engineer Regiment was the first Canadian regiment on the the ground after the conflict. Is our task as a regiment considered for the this medal for our service on both the Kuwait side and Iraq side of the border?

  9. Hubert Chad Kendall says:

    I served with 3RCR in Doha, Qutar.

    Not sure if I qualify. If so I sure would love to have it.

  10. Derek Bywater says:

    I served with 1 CFH in northern Saudi Arabia at the Iragi border.The day after Iragi forces left Kuwait, a convoy if us drove to the Canadian Ambassadors house in Kuwait City. I did receive the GWM and the two awarded by Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.
    Am I to understand that that serving members, yes! I’m still serving…are entitled to water these medals on the right side of thier DEU??
    Servitium Nulli Secundus

  11. Marisa De Zotti says:

    I served 1988 – 1991. I would welcome the medal.

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